August volume falls as SC Ports prepares for mega-ship arrival

SC Ports saw volume fall August as it prepares for mega-ship arrival

Volume at South Carolina Ports’ (SC Ports) Wando Welch and North Charleston terminals fell in August as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect trade and operations.

In a statement, SC Ports said volumes were trending positively when analysed over a three-month period, and that TEU was up 18% since July and 33% since June.

Furthermore, it said its operations were well prepared for the arrival of the 15,072 TEU CMA CGM Brazil, which will be the largest ship it has ever handled when it calls on September 20.

In total the ports handled 208,837 TEU at the Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals.

“Our August volumes surpassed expectations, reflecting the best year-over-year month since the pandemic began impacting global supply chains in March,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “We are encouraged by a steady rebound in containers, vehicles and inland port rail moves.”

SC Ports handled 26,214 vehicles at Columbus Street Terminal in August, a 38% increase from a year ago. Vehicle volumes are up 42% fiscal-year-to-date, with 51,342 vehicles handled in July and August. The Port handled 73,811 pier tons in August, up 25% year-over-year.

Inland Port Greer continues to rebound with 13,422 rail moves in August, while Inland Port Dillon had its best month in its history with 3,527 rail moves in August.

August also marked the second highest month ever for imports to the Port of Charleston.

“Our imports are returning to — and at times surpassing — pre-pandemic levels as consumers invest in more goods for their homes and families,” Newsome added.

“SC Ports is well-known for expertly moving goods just-in-time for global companies. Our efficient operations and big-ship capabilities perfectly suit the needs of global retailers who require reliability and adaptability in their supply chains.”

SC Ports’ modern ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, efficient terminal operations and deep harbor enables the port to accommodate a container ship of this size.

Investments are ongoing to further equip SC Ports to handle massive container ships in the future. The fully funded Charleston Harbor Deepening Project remains on schedule to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021, with the full project completion slated for mid-2022.

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